At least once in your car-owning life, you’re going to encounter scratches on the coat. Though small as it looks, this can be a big problem, especially if you don’t know how to fix it.
Paying a detailer to fix a little ding in your exterior may cost you a lot, though this is a preferable way for damage control. Still, there are ways so you won’t get at the moment when you’re dreading how to remove scratches from car paint.
Here, I listed some prevention tips as well as a quick fix method. It’s important to note that the fix tips may not work for every car and may increase the damage if not done well. I advise that you seek an expert’s help if you’re in doubt.
Remove Car Paint Scratches Prevention Tips
Don’t Let Dirt Sit For Too Long
Washing your car isn’t just about removing the dirt and making it look shiny. Accumulated dirt can also cause scratches, especially if you decide to scrape it off the surface. Stains and grimes are better treated using car soaps. Your dashboard can also suffer the same plight if you don’t clean it regularly.
Make it a habit to clean your vehicle weekly or monthly, depending on how soiled it could be during your use. Before applying washing detergents, make sure to give the car a quick rinse using a low-pressure hose.
Follow The Two-bucket Washing Method
If you’re washing your own, it’s advisable to use the two-bucket method. This way, you’ll separate the clean soapy water from the ones you used to wash the dirt off the rag or foam. Most car owners tend to use a single bucket where soap and dirt are mixed up. When you use this dirty and soapy water, you’re just bringing the dirt back to the vehicle.
When dirt dries up and accumulates, there’s a lot of scraping to do. If you don’t want to come to the point of removing scratches from car paint, practice the two-bucket method. We also wrote a post on the best car windshield cleaning tools with complete product guides.
Avoid Automated Washing
Automated washing uses tough brushes, and regularly setting your car on this will end you up with cobweb-like swirls. This scratch can happen to both the paint and the glasses of your vehicle. It may look like a flaw in the detailing, especially if you just had new car paint and tint.
If you’re washing your own, never use toilet brushes. These have strong bristles that can scratch your car in the process of cleaning. You may not see it with the suds on, but when it’s time for drying, you’re doomed to fix big scratches.
Microfiber Is The Way To Go
After washing, never let your car dry in the air. Airdrying won’t scratch your vehicle’s paint but removing the water spots will. Some car owners mistake scraping it with a towel, and the result isn’t that friendly.
Take time to hand dry your car. Use a microfiber towel to remove the moisture, and if you don’t have one, use a cotton towel. Your car’s paint is like a baby’s skin. Use non-abrasive cleaning materials as a means of how to remove scratches from car paint.
Sometimes, cleaning isn’t the cause of scratches. It can be the falling branches, or you missed the barrier in the parking lot. Waxing will give your car a layer of protection. This may not dodge the scratch completely, but it will make it shallower.
The best car wax will also maintain the shine of your car after washing. It will also protect your car’s paint against the intense heat of the sun as well as heavy rains.
Vinyl Wraps As The Next Resort
Vinyl wraps are a bit more expensive than waxing, but if you want a surefire way to avoid scratches, this is a good investment. Detailers will wrap a thin layer of vinyl on which you can choose the color and style. It can last for years, depending on the frequency of use.
This will be glued to your car using paint-friendly adhesives. You can ask a detailer near your place about this and if he can accommodate your budget. Anyway, you don’t need to get your car fully covered. If scratches tend to happen in the hood part, you can ask for it to be wrapped as a way how to remove scratches from car paint.
Use A Car Cover
There are natural elements that you don’t have control over but will cause annoying scratches. The best way to avoid this is to wrap your vehicle in the best car cover. If you’re always parking outside, it’s best to get an all-weather type.
The Audew Car Cover for SUV will be a wise purchase as it can dodge almost every weather condition and protect your car from scratches. It’s also waterproof, UV ray-resistant, and windproof for the best coverage.
Although this can fit snugly on your vehicle, the buckles won’t scratch your paint. You can get this for under $50 which makes it one for the money.
Remove Car Paint Scratches Fixing Tips
If you’re in the phase when the damage has been done, these fixing tips will be your saving grace. Again, this won’t work for every case, so it’s better to seek a detailer’s help in removing scratches from car paint. But if you have no choice, here are the simple steps to get rid of the pesky shallow scratch.
Step 1 – Identify What Type Of Scratch You Have?
There are three common types of scratches, namely deep scratch, paint scratch, and coat scratch. Of the three, the coating scratch is the shallowest and easiest to fix. Coat scratches are barely noticeable, but they can accumulate over time to a bigger scratch.
Step 2 – Get Your Supplies
Before you proceed with the fixing, you should get a bucket of soap and water, 2000-grit sandpaper, toothpaste, a microfiber towel, touch-up paint, and thin paint. Make sure that you separate the dirty water from the clean ones using two buckets.
Step 3 – Wash The Scratch
Clean the affected area first. If you’re scheduled to have a full car wash, it would be a timesaver. Washing will remove the dirt and grimes that may get in the way of the scratch.
Step 4 – Sand The Surrounding Area
Sand the area of the affected spot to give it a more smooth texture. This is important on how to remove scratches from car paint before applying the fixing paint. You can also use toothpaste for smaller scratches that are impossible to sand. If the scratch is within the clear coat, you don’t have to sand it.
Step 5 – Apply The Primer Coat
After sanding, you should now apply a primer before painting the spot. If the scratch is big and will need massive spraying, you should tape the headlights. You can use a primer kit available commercially and let it dry overnight.
Step 6 – Use Touch-up Paint
Touch-up paints can be as small as a nail polish bottle or as big as a jar. Shake this before use for at least 30 seconds. Dab the pen or brush slowly to the affected area. Let this coat dry for at least 15 minutes.
Step 7 – Apply Paint And Final Coat
Using thin layers of paint, coat the scratched area. Avoid thickening it, as it will be inconsistent with the paint of the whole car. After that, apply the clear coat so the scratched area will have its shimmer back. Just remember that this is a sensitive step. If you can’t paint a car, let a detailer do the job.
Ways how to remove scratches from car paint are effective but risky if you do it yourself. The tips I gave here as just guides if ever you’re planning to remove a scratch or if you’re trying to dodge it.
Do you know more ways to avoid and fix paint scratches?
Could you share it with us?